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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 3rd June

I’m here with the COVID-19 business continuity update on Wednesday 3rd June.

In this update, I explain your employees’ leave and pay entitlements that relate to a suspected or actual case of coronavirus.

There are two scenarios I’m discussing in today’s briefing:
Scenario 1. Your employee is unwell, has the COVID-19 test and is awaiting results
Scenario 2: Your employee is instructed by the contact tracers to self-quarantine

Scenario 1. Your employee is unwell, has the COVID-19 test and is awaiting results

In this scenario, your employee is unwell and anyone with symptoms of a cold or flu will be tested for coronavirus.

What happens:

  • Your employee will get tested for coronavirus
  • They will be instructed to go home immediately after the test.
  • They must remain in self-quarantine at home until they get their test result (2-4 days)
  • The doctor or the clinic where your employee was tested will contact them, either by calling or by SMS to notify them of their results.

Negative coronavirus test
If your employee is unwell, and their coronavirus (COVID-19) test was negative, they should isolate at home until their symptoms have completely resolved. This will stop them passing any infection (such as a cold) on to others.

Leave and pay entitlement: Your employee is entitled to use their paid personal (sick) leave while they are unwell.

Positive coronavirus test
If your employee’s coronavirus (COVID-19) test was positive, whether or not they have symptoms, they will need to isolate. They will be contacted by a public health worker from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for advice on the next steps.

Leave and pay entitlement: Your employee is entitled to use their paid personal (sick) leave while they are unwell.

Scenario 2: Your employee is instructed by the contact tracers to self-quarantine

In this scenario, your employee is contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services because they may have been in proximity to someone who is confirmed to have coronavirus.

What happens:

  • They will be tested for coronavirus
  • They may be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days
  • If, at the end of 14 days, your employee remains well, they can cease self-quarantine. (No medical certificate is required to enable them to return to other activities.)

There are two parts to this scenario:
A. Your employee can work from home
B. Your employee cannot work from home

A. Your employee can work from home

Gain agreement with your employee that they will continue to work, however they will work from home.

Be aware that people in self-quarantine can’t:

  • leave that place except in an emergency,
  • allow other people into the home if they don’t live there,
  • be closer than 1.5 metres to others in the home.

Remember to take appropriate precautions if you need to deliver items to your employee to enable them to work from home.

Leave and pay entitlement: Your employee is entitled to be paid while they are working from home.

B. Your employee cannot work from home

Carefully consider if there are any tasks that your employee can do to work from home.

If your employee can’t work from home, you don’t need to pay them their personal/sick leave. You can explore options for them to take other leave available to them, otherwise they are entitled to unpaid pandemic leave.

Be aware that if they are entitled to JobKeeper, the minimum JobKeeper payment will still need to be paid. This includes if they take any unpaid leave.

Note: personal (sick) leave can only be taken if your employee is actually unwell. It can’t be used if they are well but unable to work.

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This can get very confusing, so if any of these situations does occur, speak to your Tenfold business coach and they’ll be able to help you navigate the Fair Work advice.

(Detailed information about isolation and quarantine can be found at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/self-quarantine-coronavirus-covid-19#who-is-required-to-quarantine)

 

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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